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Now You Can Speak At Your Own Funeral

Have you ever thought about writing your own obituary? How about speaking at your own funeral? Now the public can.

A new Utah company (www.SpeakatYourOwnFuneral.com) allows consumers to literally speak at their own funeral – virtually. They will come to the client’s home and create a five to ten-minute video document that family can then show at the actual funeral or memorial service. They also give their clients a longer, less edited version with the additional details, stories, and sometimes even humorous out-takes less appropriate for the funeral.

With a formula that is respectful, sometimes playful, but often profound and genuinely emotional – a great idea many have also found is vitally important.

“It’s what my family needs to hear,” says Richard Brown, a recent customer, who is still very much alive, “I want my family to know that I love them and to give them some advice for when I am gone.”

“No one should die without leaving at least a note to their loved ones,” says CEO Rick Porter, who’s been producing film and video for more than 40 years. “But these videos have a greater impact than a note. We live in an age when we can digitally record and archive records that can last for generations. And these…well, they are the most important records we can leave – a summary of all we experienced; life lessons that taught us, made us who we are. Not to do that is a real loss – a missed opportunity.”

“I didn’t know what to expect.” says Brenda Johnson, a recent interview subject. “I have given the questions ahead of time and did a little preparation. I was nervous, but that all went away once we began. I felt like the camera disappeared, and we were just having a friendly conversation. Ok, maybe the camera did not completely disappear, but the result was more than worth it. I can’t tell my children and grandchildren I love them enough. Now it will always be there whenever they want it.”

The company is breaking new ground, attempting to connect the estimated 73 million baby boomers with their posterity to come.

“This type of interview should be done by all those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or with a terminal illness,” says Porter, “yet few know such a service exists or even can exist.”

“The $1,000 cost is surprisingly affordable considering the quality of their work,” states Paul Jones of Alden Keene & Associates, a Utah marketing firm.

Couldn’t people just do this themselves with a smartphone?

“Absolutely,” says Jones, “and should, because these family records are invaluable and ought to be made. But having a great camera phone, a good microphone, lights, and editing software doesn’t guarantee you’ll produce a professional result. But the number one reason people can but won’t do this… procrastination,” says Jones.

Currently, the company (www.SpeakatYourOwnFuneral.com) has production teams in Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah, Chicago, Jacksonville, Florida, and San Diego, California but will ramp up as demand increases.

“We see this becoming a ‘thing’,” says Porter, “It immediately draws on people’s curiosity. It has that ‘what a great idea’ quality. But watch an example or two, hear the comments, the sincere and authentic sentiments, feel the emotions – then you too, will want to ‘Speak at Your Own Funeral’.”

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